China US Relations

China, for most of its 3500 years of history, China led the world in
agriculture, crafts, and science. It fell behind in the 19th century when the

Industrial Revolution gave the West clear superiority in military and economic
affairs. In the first half of the 20th century, China continued to suffer from
major famines, civil unrest, military defeat, and foreign occupation. After

World War II, the Communists under Mao Tse Tung established a dictatorship that,
while ensuring autonomy of China, imposed strict controls over all aspects of
like and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor

Deng Xiaoping decentralized economic decision making; output quadrupled in the
next 20 years. Political controls remain tight at the same time economic
controls have been weakening. Present issues in China are: incorporating Honk

Kong into the Chinese system, closing down inefficient state-owned enterprises,
modernizing its military, fighting corruption, and providing support to tens of
millions of displaced workers. Today, China remains the major issue in U.S.
security policy in Asia. The currently dominant security policy holds that China
has essentially replaced the former Soviet Union as the chief strategic threat
to the United States in the region, and the U.S. should essentially retain its
containment strategy, with China as the new target. The basis of this new
strategy includes a strengthening of cold war-era bilateral military alliances
in with the development of a Theater-based Missile Defense system that would
cover South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Revelations in early-to-mid 1999
indicating a pattern of Chinese nuclear weapons and missile technology espionage
dating back from the 1970s to the mid-1990s has raised fears of China as an
enemy to the highest level in 20 years. China's defense budget has grown more
than 50% over the course of the 1990s and is said to have increased 15% in 1999.

China's occupation of 11 islands and reefs in the Spratlys, including Mischief

Reef, 378 kilometers from the Philippines is also used as evidence of the
expansionist nature of China. The accusations of espionage are more telling of
the weaknesses in U.S. security than of providing any significant evidence that
the Chinese have used this data to gain a qualitative strategic advantage
relative to the United States. A more balanced conclusion would be that the
espionage reveals that the privatization of the management of nuclear weapons
labs did not adequately take into account the United States' national security
concerns. A report by Clinton's Foreign Intelligence Advisory concluded that a
"culture of arrogance" at the weapons labs had "conspired to
create an espionage scandal waiting to happen" while another report by the

General Accounting Office said that Los Alamos and Livermore had ignored
warnings about their security for years. The most recent news about the
espionage situation with China has involved a man name We Ho Lee. Lee was
terminated from his position at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in March for
allegedly passing on classified information on the W-88 nuclear warhead to

China. It is said that Lee leaked the documents electronically onto an unsecured
computer network. Since the furor over alleged Chinese espionage waned over the
summer, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials narrowed the list of
nuclear secrets that Beijing most likely stole while expanding the pool of
potential suspects. After three years of a narrow focus on the Los Alamos
nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico and Wen Ho Lee, officials now acknowledge that
the classified information China most likely stole was accessible to hundreds of
people at several federal facilities. A primary piece of evidence continues to
be a 1988 Chinese document that suggests China stole valuable information about
nearly every major weapon in the current U.S. nuclear arsenal, including the

W-88 miniaturized submarine warhead that is one of America's most sophisticated
weapons. This document was an important element of the report issued by a
congressional committee chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox on Chinese nuclear
espionage earlier this year. The Cox Report pointed to that document as evidence
of the extent of China's spying at U.S. nuclear labs. More recent assessments by

U.S. intelligence, however, conclude that a large portion of the information in
that document most likely came from publicly available documents, some of which
contained misinformation about American weapons. In the case of the W-88,
intelligence officials now believe the 1988 Chinese document, which U.S.
officials obtained in 1995, contains only a couple of pieces of classified
information that could have been stolen only from secure facilities. The growing
dominance of commercial over security issues (as evident in the cases of the
missile launches by Loral and Hughes) points to the dangers of having U.S.
business interests shape peace and security issues toward China. Within the

Clinton administration, a faction led by the Treasury and Commerce departments
and promoted by transnational corporations opposed and continues to oppose
security-based restrictions on trade and commerce, arguing that China's partial
liberalization make it a land of enormous trade and investment opportunity. The

London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies concludes that
"China does not have the resources to project a major conventional force
beyond its territory," and points to China's engagement with multilateral
institutions and conventions as commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific forces,

Admiral Dennis Blair, has declared that "China will not represent a serious
strategic threat to the United States for at least twenty years." China has
demonstrated an increasing willingness to participate in efforts to control the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by subscribing to or signing since

1992: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,

Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions, and the Missile Technology Control

Regime (MTCR). In addition, China has placed what the U.S. views as the most
objectionable portion of its peaceful nuclear technology agreement with Iran on
hold. Last month, China completed its first successful test of a spacecraft for
manned flight. In an article written by John Leicester which was drawn from the
internet, he states that "this test has military implications because the
same low-power propulsion system used to adjust the spacecraft's orbit in flight
could also be used to alter the path of offensive missiles, helping them evade
proposed U.S. anti-missile defense systems known as TMD and NMD. TMD, an acronym
for Theater Missile Defense, and NMD, or National Missile Defense, would shoot
down incoming missiles. The Clinton administration, with the support of

Congress, is developing a limited national missile defense that could be
deployed as early as 2005. It also is carrying out research with Japan on a
regional missile defense. Leicester then goes on to explain that China has
condemned this action and have said that this could spark a costly and dangerous
arms race. I cannot help but think how hypocritical that sounds because of all
the allegations of espionage on the part of China! China is also worried that
the TMD technology could be passed on to Taiwan, allowing the island that

Beijing regards as a renegade province to defend itself against Chinese
missiles. The United States is trying to remedy this issue with diplomacy
through having talks with Beijing aimed at bringing China into the World Trade

Organization. China has been on a quest for membership in the WTO for 13 years.

In order to join, China must reach agreements with the United States, the

European Union, Canada, and other members for market opening. As part of an
agreement with China on the United States' part, Congress must grant Beijing
normal trade relations (NTR) status, formerly known as most-favored nation
status. That would clear the way for China to open its markets and would
guaranty Chinese goods the same low-tariff access to U.S. markets as nearly
every other nation. In closing, I think it is a good idea to make good with

China because it seems as if China is becoming a very powerful nation. However,
we must increase security at our most secret locations that contain sensitive
information because the kind of information that has been leaked to China has
been spread throughout the world long before China became one of our worries. We
should not allow this situation to escalate high enough to cause another cold
war. If another cold war happens, then it will just be a matter of time before
someone presses the button that will causes our destruction.


Durant, Will, Ariel Durant. The Story of Civilization: Part IX: The Age of

Voltaire. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965. Frautschi, R.L. Barron's

Simplified Approach to Voltaire: Candide. NewYork: Barron's Educational Series,

Inc., 1968.